Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu: ITHUBA hands over 3 houses in Vlakfontein

ITHUBA embarked on their first national housing project in 2022 and decided to grow on their success in 2023 by undertaking their biggest housing project to date. Their team kicked off their housing roadshow in the South of Johannesburg on 5 December meeting their first beneficiary Edward Makolane and 2 others in Vlakfontein.

Wheelchair-bound Edward Makolane (41), has been living in an informal shack that has no roads leading to or from his home.He has been having great difficulty living in a home that doesn’t cater to his disability or give him access to his own bathroom. Emotional Makolane said this new beginning means so much: “Finally my child can come home – knowing that I can provide this safe space is very special.”

Other beneficiaries, Thabo and Bellinha Dibodu who have been awaiting an RDP house for the past decade, while providing for their family from their two-bedroom shack in Sloville, without electricity or running water excitedly said their new house is heaven-sent. The souple said: “ITHUBA came through for us because we were not going to be able to build ourselves a house anytime soon!”

ITHUBA’s CEO, Mrs Charmaine Mabuza, values a solid home foundation and the effects it has. Mabuza said: “The housing crisis is an issue that speaks to me deeply because of the way it disrupts communities and family life. This is why we decided at ITHUBA to build houses for those in need – to provide some stability. The fact they are receiving them just ahead of Christmas is perfect timing.”

ITHUBA has long played a hand in addressing the housing crisis, starting with an internal housing project for staff members before moving their focus toward larger housing projects. In December 2022, ITHUBA’s first national housing project provided festive cheer for several families who had lost their homes due to unforeseen tragedies and the flood disasters in KwaZulu-Natal. This year, ITHUBA decided to continue changing lives, giving their beneficiaries a festive gift truly worthy of celebration. For the 2023 housing project, ITHUBA partnered up with DPSA (Disabled People South Africa) to provide homes for beneficiaries who are differently abled.

Mabuza says the process was well-thought out and carefully applied, “Through this process, we have been able to select a diverse group of differently abled beneficiaries, and others facing extreme challenges. By undertaking such a thorough process of examination, we have been able to ensure that houses are being allocated to those who families that need it the most.”

These beneficiaries will finally have access to facilities that make their lives unimaginably easier, such as Harold Ntsoto, a paraplegic who has been wheelchair-bound for the past 32 years. Due to Ntsoto’s situation, he needs easy access and his own bathroom, which is possible in his new home. His excitement is palpable, “I feel so fortunate to have been chosen by ITHUBA to receive a new home. I will forever be grateful to them for the gift of dignity.”

Starting their festive housing handout in Gauteng, ITHUBA will move across to the Free State, before concluding the giveaways for 2023 in the Eastern Cape – handing out Christmas cheer in abundance; the new homes speak more about paving the way forward for lasting change and peace. These homes will change not only the future of the family receiving the home now but the future families that will live in it over the years to come.

ITHUBA took special care to ensure that these homes cater to the beneficiaries’ unique needs, with Mrs Mabuza drawing on her experience as a mother. She emphatically believes that a solid home foundation provides the nurturing environment children need to thrive.

“Every person deserves to have a roof over their head and a place they can call home. This is a big challenge for South Africans but one I believe we can overcome if we work together. At ITHUBA, we want to show people we are committed to improving their lives. We want to live the saying, ‘umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ – a person is a person because of other people. This proverb is a core value of my organisation and to me personally. Our roadshow takes a few steps towards that vision of a better society. Every journey starts with just a few steps, and we plan to take several more until the people most in need can enjoy the sense and safety of a home,” said Mabuza.

ITHUBA encourages all South Africans to take stock at the end of 2023 and use the opportunity to pay it forward – no matter how big or small their contribution is. “It is inspiring to see the positive impact our initiatives have on the lives of the beneficiaries. My advice to fellow South Africans is to recognise the power each individual has to make a difference.”

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